CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — A police watchdog said Wednesday it will investigate whether officers were chasing two boys who died in an e-bike crash that sparked rioting in the capital of Wales.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates deaths police may have been involved in, said it would investigate the South Wales force after video appeared to show a police van trailing behind a bike that had two people on it, shortly before the fatal crash Monday.
Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died in the crash.
Dozens of youths took to the street later, pelting police with objects and setting cars and trash bins ablaze. Fifteen officers were injured and 11 needed hospital treatment, police said. Several people were arrested.
Police have said the boys weren’t being chased and that rumors of a chase on social media led to the rioting. The force referred itself to the watchdog for investigation.
Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon said late Wednesday that camera footage shows the police van was a half-mile away on a different road around the time of the crash.
Investigators studied police car tracking data and footage from surveillance cameras to set out a timeline, Bacon said.
Footage showed a bike being followed by police less than two minutes before the crash. The police vehicle did not have its lights on or siren in use and later turned down a different road than the ones the boys were on.
Reports in The Guardian and BBC suggested officers may have turned because there were bollards in the road ahead that would have blocked their path.